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Eric Charles Rodney Knapp v. California Department of Correction

December 21, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: United States Magistrate Judge Michael J. Seng


Plaintiff Eric Charles Rodney Knapp ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

Plaintiff filed this action on November 19, 2012. (Compl., ECF No. 1.) No other parties have appeared. Plaintiff's Complaint is now before the Court for screening.


The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally "frivolous or malicious," that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1),(2). "Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action or appeal . . . fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

A complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief . . . ." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)). Plaintiff must set forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Facial plausibility demands more than the mere possibility that a defendant committed misconduct and, while factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Id. at 1949-50.


Plaintiff is currently housed at Sierra Conservation Center. Plaintiff claims the following Defendants have injured him in some way: 1) Matthew Cate, secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR"), 2) CDCR, 3) the Sierra Conservation Center and State Prison ("SCC") in Jamestown, California, 4) California Correctional Health Care Services ("CHCS"), 5) F. Chavez, CDCR official, 6) M. Alexander, CDCR employee at SCC, 7) B. Alkire, CDCR official, 8) L. Allen, CDCR employee at SCC, 9) M. Backlund, CDCR employee at SCC, 10) M. Baldwin, CDCR official at SCC, 11) P. Bolles, CDCR official at SCC, 12) R. Briggs, CDCR official, 13) J. Chander, CDCR employee, 14) T. Clay, CDCR official at SCC, 15) Does 1-50, CDCR officials/employees/agents at SCC, 16) D. Foston, CDCR official at CDCR, 17) D. Gibb, CDCR official at SCC, 18) N. Grannis, CDCR official at CDCR, 19) C. Hammond, CDCR official at CDCR, 20) C. Holmstrom, CDCR official at CDCR, 21) S. Hannah, CDCR official at SCC, 22) C. Koenig, CDCR employee at SCC, 23) J. Lozano CDCR official at CDCR, 24) M. Lyons, CDCR employee at SCC, 25) R. Manuel, CDCR official at CDCR, 26) J. Martinez, CDCR official at SCC, 27) S. Mendoza, CDCR employee at SCC, 28) W. Miller, CDCR offical at SCC, 29) R. Otto, CDCR official at SCC, 30) M. Overstreet, CDCR official at SCC, 31) M. Pate, CDCR official at SCC, 32) A. Pendergrass, CDCR official at SCC, 33) E. Pendergrass, CDCR employee at SCC, 34) A. Peters, CDCR employee at SCC, 35) R. Pimental, CDCR official at CDCR, 36) P. Quinn, CDCR official at SCC, 37) P. Rawlinson, CDCR official at SCC, 38) S. Reed, CDCR employee at SCC, 39) K. Robertson, CDCR employee at SCC, 40) W. Sanford, CDCR official at CDCR, 41) M. Scott, CDCR official at CDCR, 42) W. Semsen, CDCR official at SCC, 43) C. Smith, CDCR official at SCC, 44) J. St. Clair, CDCR official at SCC, 45) B. Sullivan, CDCR official at CDCR, 46) J. Tennison, CDCR official at SCC, and 47) J. Walker, CDCR official at CDCR/CHCS.

Plaintiff as alleges as follows:

From July 31, 2008 to the present, Defendants have retaliated against Plaintiff in response to Plaintiff's activities taken under the First Amendment, the American with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and other federal and state laws. (Compl. at 3-4.) Plaintiff's First Amendment rights, including the right to receive mail, seek redress, and access the courts, have been violated. (Id. at 4.) Plaintiff's right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment has been violated. (Id.) Plaintiff's right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment has been violated. (Id.) Plaintiff's rights under the privileges and immunities clause of the United States Constitution has been violated. (Id.) Plaintiff's right to not be deprived of his liberty interests or personal property without due process under the Fourteenth Amendment has been violated. (Id.) Plaintiff's right to equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment has been violated. (Id. at 4-5.) Plaintiff's right to not to be discriminated against on the basis of his physical and mental disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act has been violated. (Id. at 5.) Plaintiff's right to reasonable and necessary accommodation for his disabilities and handicaps under the American with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act has been violated. (Id.) Plaintiff's right to not be deprived of previously granted accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act has been violated.


Plaintiff asks the Court to issue a declaration finding that the Defendants deprived Plaintiff of the rights discussed above, for an injunction preventing Defendants from further subjecting Plaintiff to the same deprivations, compensatory damages, and punitive damages. (Compl. at 3, 5.)


A. 42 U.S.C. § 1983 CLAIMS

42 U.S.C. § 1983 "provides a cause of action for the 'deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws' of the United States." Wilder v. Virginia Hosp. Ass'n, 496 U.S. 498, 508 (1990) (quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1983). § 1983 is not itself a source of substantive rights, but merely provides a method for vindicating federal rights conferred elsewhere. Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989).

To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Ketchum v. Alameda Cnty., 811 F.2d 1243, 1245 (9th Cir. 1987).

B. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 18(a)

Fed. R. Civ. P. 18(a) states that "[a] party asserting a claim to relief as an original claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, may join, either as independent or as alternate claims, as many claims, legal, equitable, or maritime, as the party has against an opposing party." "Thus multiple claims against a single party are fine, but Claim A against Defendant 1 should not be joined with unrelated Claim B against Defendant 2. Unrelated claims against different defendants belong in different suits, not only to prevent the sort of morass [a multiple claim, multiple defendant] suit produce[s], but also to ensure that prisoners pay the required filing fees-for the Prison Litigation Reform Act limits to 3 the number of frivolous suits or appeals that any prisoner may file without prepayment of the required fees. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g)." George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007).

Plaintiff's Complaint contains a number of unrelated claims in violation of Rule 18. At this time, the Court cannot suggest different groupings of potentially related claims because Plaintiff's allegations are so conclusory in nature and devoid of any facts.

The Court will provide Plaintiff with the law applicable to the various types of claims he might be attempting to assert so that he can evaluate which, if any, he feels may be and should be pursued here and which, if any, may be and should be pursued in different actions.

Plaintiff must file a separate complaint for each unrelated claim. If he does not, all unrelated claims ...

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